(Jan. 31, 2020) The Stephen Decatur boys’ swim team won its final competition – topping Kent Island, 96-67, on Tuesday – before Saturday’s Bayside Conference championship meet.
“They swam well. It was nice have everyone there [after some illnesses],” said Decatur Coach Steve Deakyne. “They’re looking pretty sharp going into Baysides.”
The Seahawks won 10 of 11 events at the Pocomoke YMCA.
Coming in first place in their individual races were: freshman Gavin Stearn (200-yard freestyle, 2:03.03; 100-yard freestyle, 54.75 seconds), juniors Caleb Vaxmonsky (200IM, 2:17.75; 500-yard freestyle, 5:32.35) and Jack Slaysman (100-yard breaststroke, 1:08.66) and senior captain Richard Poist (100-yard backstroke, 1:05.22; 100-yard butterfly, 57.34 seconds).
Poist swam his fastest time of the season in the 100-yard butterfly event.
Vaxmonsky, Slaysman, Poist and Stearn came in first place in the 200-yard medley relay race (1:49.94).
Slaysman, Vaxmonsky and juniors Nick Cardamone and Patrick O’Halloran won the 200-yard freestyle relay race (1:47.07).
Poist, Stearn, O’Halloran and sophomore Luke Bahlman earned a victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay race (3:48.57).
“The last couple of meets we had some best times of the season. Hopefully, we stay healthy going into the weekend,” Deakyne said.
Kristina Watts, coach of the Decatur girls’ team, was surprised how talented the Lady Buccaneers are this year.
Kent Island won the meet, 97-72.
“They were really good. Some of the [Decatur] girls were off tonight, but some of the girls also swam their season best,” Watts said. “I also experimented with some events. Some went well, some, all right.”
Decatur won only one race, but Watts said it was “the most exciting of the night.”
Freshman Natalie Canham was victorious in the 200IM. She finished the race in 2:23.53.
“It was also the closest race of the night,” Watts said.
Kent Island came in second place with a time of 2:24.42.
Decatur racked up most of its points for second-place finishes. The Lady Seahawks placed second in seven events.
“We just need to shake it off and get ready for Saturday now,” Watts said.
The Bayside Conference championship meet is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Cambridge YMCA.
The Lady Seahawks won the inaugural Bayside Conference championship last year. Decatur’s boys’ team came in second place.
This season, the only conference opponent the Decatur boys’ team lost to was Easton, and they were missing Vaxmonsky. The girls’ squad only lost to Kent Island.
Deakyne thinks it will be a battle between the Decatur boys’ team and Easton for first place.
Most of his swimmers will compete in two relay and two individual events.
Everybody has to do their best. Everyone needs to contribute,” he said. “If we put up some best times we should be in the mix. I’m excited for it. It should be fun.”
Watts said she is also looking forward to the meet. Decatur will have its hands full with Kent Island, as the Seahawks eye their second Bayside title.
Watts said to be successful, the girls need to have positive attitudes and support and pump each other up.
“They need to help each other stay motivated and excited,” she said. “Swimming is 90 percent mental. If they can get their minds right, they can do well.”